Life can present its challenges. One minute you’re full of faith quoting scriptures and the next you are ridden with thoughts of overwhelming defeat. How on earth can one be full of faith one minute and overwhelmed the next. It’s quite easy if you ask me. The human nature is simply wired to celebrate when things are great and fall into pits of despair when things seem to manifest otherwise. We are simply moved by our senses. What we see, hear, smell, taste and touch can throw our emotions into moments of utter bliss or dark anguish. Those who follow scripture know otherwise.
The last shall become first. (Matthew 20:16) God will renew the years the canker and palmerworm have eaten. (Joel 2:25) For we walk by faith and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) Just like the teacher from Charlie Brown, “Wah, wah, wah, wah, ,” scripture can sound the same when you are emotionally overwhelmed. The very thing you need to believe can begin to sound impossible and it becomes easy to default to fear and doubt. To give in to these feelings of hopelessness does not secure victory. What they do secure is frustration, misery and a horrible time for anyone who encounters you.
So how is one to overcome periods of such mental defeat? I mean think about it, one-day life is good, you are on a high, your finances and career are in great shape and life couldn’t be any better. You couldn’t ask for more, then in one moment, one instance; the rug is pulled from underneath your feet. You show up for work only to find out the company was bought-out by their competitor and you no longer have a job. At that moment utter disbelief and pure shock absorb your soul. You don’t have time to quote scriptures or walk in faith. You’ve been punched in the gut like never before. After that punch you are expected to continue working the remainder of the month with a great attitude. At that moment, you are being challenged on every side. The once strong faith you had has now been weakened and tested by this current situation. Where do you go from here? Well, you were once full of faith so you try to pull on what you know but each day it seems to become more difficult. Your once lion sized faith has been weaned down to the size of a little bitty kitty.
Here is where I find we can get mixed up and lose our way. You see we were given emotions and they are real. We will be happy and sad, along with a plethora of other emotions. Some are prone to lean into what they have been taught without dealing with their emotions while others can totally be given into their emotions and lose faith altogether. To me, neither is balanced.
I myself have been in similar places many times in my Christian walk. I would consider myself a woman of faith until a grenade hits me. At those moments I would feel myself spinning out of emotional control with faith nowhere in sight. I would go through highs and lows, periods of faith coupled with periods of doubt. Up and down the rollercoaster went with no hope of ever stopping. I’d fight off darkness for days and weeks at a time and come up full of faith to only descend into the next hill on the rollercoaster. Now some would say I was just not full of faith, not spending enough time with Jesus, or I wasn’t quoting enough scripture. Now on one hand this may be true but how can I be full of something I have yet to posses. Faith is a process, not an instant confession. Quoting scriptures for one day or even a week will simply not be enough to combat the wall that stands in front of you. If I am full of fear and doubt because I am suffering in a way that is uncommon to me how on earth can I possess a faith I do not yet know? My friend it’s impossible. It’s the day-by-day struggles, the highs and lows that in the end produce faith, if you faint not.
Scripture tells us that if we hold on, at the proper time, we will reap our harvest, our blessing if we do not faint. (Galatians 6:9) Well that leaves the questions, why are we waiting and what is going on while we wait? I believe this is the process, the process of faith. This scripture gives me the indication that during the process I will become so weary I will want to quit. Weary from what? I believe the rollercoaster ride of the process of possessing something you have yet to acquire, a faith you are yet to know, but in the end will produce your harvest. It takes great faith to endure, believe what is invisible, and die to your methods of resolve. I believe this is the process of faith.
Just like the one who lost his job unexpectedly must now believe God in a way he has never been challenged before. How can he jump from believing God for provision without a job when he has never encountered this type of challenge? Before this event he had faith but his faith was in the security of a job that God had blessed him with but now his faith is being challenged to believe God for what he cannot see, what he has no control of. Some would call it a blind faith, but my friend you do not go from faith to faith in one day, week, or year by simply walking on glory clouds of positive declarations. This is only one part of the process.
You must also empty yourself of your ways and thoughts. The minute finances are hit we begin to think of what we need to do. Do we go get a job? Should we borrow from the credit card or from a family member? All of those may be feasible answers but in severe cases you may do all of the above and find yourself right back in the same position you tried to run from. Panic will set in again and you will find yourself saying now what? You must be emptied out, emptied out of the things that are filling up the space in which God desires to fill. God cannot pour himself where there is already an occupant. So fear, control, and anger must be relinquished in order for a greater measure of faith to be poured in.
In life you will face many grenade launches that seemed to be created to destroy you and your family. In all honesty they are probably launched from the pits of hell but God will use them for his benefit to pull out something that stands in the way of your hearts cry for more. Yes, he wants you to have more of him but only when your heart cries out in agreement will he allow the old to be challenged and removed until pure faith can be poured in. It’s a process not an instant change.
So along the journey you will find yourself on a rollercoaster ride of emotions until you wrestle with yourself through God’s word and become victorious. You cannot yield to your emotions and you cannot expect to quote a scripture once and come out. Once the emotional episode ends repent, if necessary, and quote scriptures over and over until the next emotional battle comes. Spend more time in prayer and in His presence for it is there you will find the wellspring of life.
In the end, simply, do not quit! Never give up and never give in to your despair. It’s just your flesh crying out because it’s dying, dying to your own thoughts and ways of problem solving. I promise you in the end, birthing new faith and letting God have his way feels much better. Been there, done that, and allowing the process to birth new faith is worth the struggle. In the end you will come out victorious if you faint not.
Author: Petrina Milan